Energy News for Guilford Residents

“Last year the Energy Task Force received a grant to provide free energy audits for deserving residents. Unfortunately the grant was only large enough to provide 30 audits but those who were selected received benefits such as replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy‐efficient flourescents, sealing off air leaks to and from their homes, and appliance inspections. The free audits are not now available but for a modest fee all residents will be able to get such an audit as outlined here:

In the near future Guilford residents will receive a letter from the First Selectman and the Energy Task Force inviting them to enroll in a residential energy audit program. There will be a modest charge of $75 for each audit and the letter will list the substantial benefits that will accrue to each subscriber. Not only will the subscriber benefit from the energy savings that will be identified, but the Town will also benefit. The two firms that will conduct the audits have agreed to donate the subscriber’s payments to the town. The Energy Task Force has agreed with the town that this donation will be given to Social Services which has said the money would be used for the Fuel Assistance program that it oversees. (In an identical program, Madison received $15,000 in a few weeks). The program is a “win win”. Subscribers get fuel savings, needy citizens get fuel assistance, and the audit firms get income from CL&P. You are actively encouraged to participate.

Do you know: How much energy is saved by commuting from Guilford to New Haven by train rather than driving? Here is a broad‐brush answer: Currently about 170 cars are parked at the station on weekdays. Typically each car would be used by a single commuter. The train avoids a round‐trip drive to New Haven of about 35 miles. A typical drive to and from the station is about 5 miles. So each commuter is saving about 30 miles/day by using the train. Assuming 5 days per week and 48 weeks commuting per year, means that each commuter on average reduces miles driven by 7200 miles per year. For 170 cars this means an overall saving of 1.2 million miles annually. The U.S Energy Information Administration gives an average mileage for cars of 20.8 mpg. So the 170 commuters are using some 60,000 gallons/year less gasoline. This must be offset by the energy used by the train. The Transportation Dept. quotes a commuter rail energy use as 3,000 Btu per passenger mile, and this for our example is equivalent to about 34,000 gallons of gasoline per year.

Bottom line – the 170 commuters save about 26,000 gallons of gasoline annually overall. There is also an economic advantage as well as energy saving. With gasoline at around $4.00 per gallon, and a commuter cost of $75/month, the typical commuter will save about $500 per year. There will also be a saving in parking cost in New Haven and a large reduction in wear and tear on the car, not to mention the avoidance of risks associated with driving on I95! And lest we forget –a reduction in carbon emissions of between 70 and 130 tons per year.

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